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Author Topic: Does anyone know the approximate tongue weight of an empty 53' cargo trailer?  (Read 5480 times)

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Offline LOGDOG

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I'm having two 53' cargo trailers delivered this morning for storage. I'm having a wrecker bring them in because the running gear isn't quite up to snuff. The vans themselves are in great shape though. The seller actually owns the wrecker company so it worked out perfect. I'm wondering what the tongue weight of these things will be though. I may need to jockey them around once they're in here and I'm curious if I've got the machine to do it. Any ideas on what I'm looking at for a tongue weight on these?

Thanks.

Offline Jeff

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Depends on the axle placement and the amount of axles.    We used to move our EMPTY chip vans around if we had to with a case w-14 loader. They were 6 axle trailers 48 foot long. We would put the forks under the front and then a chain around the fithwheel pin. They would lift easily, but when you went to pull, the weight of the trailer determined the downward push on the forks.  If you have any resistance against the tires, it will transmit to down pressure at the front of the trailer.

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Offline LOGDOG

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Thanks Jeff. These are two axle trailers, 53' long. I had wondered if my 4wd Kioti would pick the tongue up with the forks. It doesn't have much gumption though, maybe 1500 lb lift capacity. My Pettibone is strong enough. I've picked 48,000 lbs with him but he's not real dainty. Kind of big and clumsy. I had wondered if i could use the blade on the front of my JD450C too ...maybe with a sling around the pin?

Offline DouginUtah

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Don't forget that those axles are movable. Sliding them all the way forward will reduce the weight considerably.

You might want to have the wrecker slide them for you.

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I'm trying to visualize how the wrecker is moving these. Does it have air to release the brakes on the trailer? Or do they remove the brakes?
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Offline Jeff

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You can back off the slack adjusters to get them to move.    They aint easy to maneuver, even with a big fork truck. 
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Offline LOGDOG

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We just got one in.  8) That's a looooong load coming through two sharp 90 degree corners. He had to be about 75' long with the big wrecker and the 53' van. Got a few pictures and will take more when the next one comes.  :)

Offline Gary_C

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I move a fifth wheel grain trailer that is lighter than a 53 foot semi trailer and I can tell you that most likely that Kioti will not move it. It might pick up the front end but as soon as you try to move it will start to tip. Not sure if the front tires will carry the weight either.

And Doug brings up a good point. Without air or mechanically releasing the brakes, that trailer is not going to move without something very powerful in front to drag it with the failsafe brakes locked. I have seen where some people rig up an air coupler with either a check valve or a quick disconnect and hold air in the brake system to release the brakes without a semi tractor. Otherwise you can cage all the brake chambers and mechanically release all the brakes. But I don't like to do that with old and rusty brake chambers as if the back end fails and releases that heavy spring it could kill someone. I don't want to be under the trailer cranking on a wrench right behing one of those brake chambers.
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Offline Larry

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Well my little Ford handled a 48' container...maybe not exactly, but the 30,000 pound Garwood winch on the 3 point did. ;D

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Offline LOGDOG

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Well we got both the trailers in. It was tight on the first one. Between the wrecker and the trailer and a spread between them he was about 90 feet long overall. He had three hard 90 degree turns to get up into my place. On the first one he brought a second wrecker along and had to pull the butt end over to get it to go around the corner. On the second go around I pulled up three mailboxes and he zipped right in. In fact I didn't really get the pictures I was hoping to because he came in so quick with the second one and the neighbor had me held up talking. I got a few though.

This is once he was all the way into the front of my property after all the turns. I had him drop down off the side of my levy and park these in the bottom. (Hopefully they'll be moved before it gets too wet.)


You can see some fresh dirt where I've been bulldozing in this pic.



This is the first one he brought. The big Pettibone and two log piles behind it give it some scale.



And here they both are side by side.



I think once I get them where I want them, I may bridge the roofs with some trusses or something and create a little shelter in between them to park the tractors, mill, etc. We'll see. But this is what today yielded. They were $1500.00 each delivered about 30 miles one way. Totally sound inside. Dry throughout. Floors are perfect. I believe the brakes were disconnected because he didn't have anything airing them up. I may need to revisit that question with him tomorrow.

Should be some good dry storage though.  :)

Offline Magicman

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Are you going to remove the running gear and drop them down to the ground?
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Offline LOGDOG

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Yep MM, I think once I get them where I want them I'll pour some footings underneath them to keep them up off the ground just a bit and then pour an apron in front of them to make access a little smoother. Once I get the bulkheads on my bridge rebuilt, I'll go ahead and take them across. I'll probably wire them for power and lights as well. They've got 9 ft ceilings so the headroom is nice inside.

Online LeeB

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Re: Does anyone know the approximate tongue weight of an empty 53' cargo trailer?
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2017, 04:35:02 pm »
I know this is an old thread but I have a similar situation/question. Approximately how much does the tongue weight change by moving the tandems forward? My new to me JD 5410 w/ 540 loader has a purported lift capacity of about 3400#. I need to reposition an  empty dry van and wonder if I can use this to do it with.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, Ford 851 tractor, JD 3032 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton and 2005 1 ton Dodge 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.

Offline goose63

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Re: Does anyone know the approximate tongue weight of an empty 53' cargo trailer?
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 06:56:05 pm »
LeeB if its a dry van and the axels are all the way forward you should be ok
goose
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Offline snowstorm

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Re: Does anyone know the approximate tongue weight of an empty 53' cargo trailer?
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 07:54:43 pm »
Like was said before you will have to put the bolts in the maxi can to release the brakes. It is a special tee shaped bolt. All new brake cans come with them.

Offline james

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Re: Does anyone know the approximate tongue weight of an empty 53' cargo trailer?
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 08:07:11 pm »
if i remember right each pin hole you move the slider forward takes 300 lbs off the nose  nose should be 6-10,000 lbs
jameslbs

Online LeeB

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Re: Does anyone know the approximate tongue weight of an empty 53' cargo trailer?
« Reply #15 on: September 12, 2017, 07:23:57 am »
The brakes have already been released. Guess I'll just have to try it and see if it will get it done.
'98 LT40HDD/Lombardini, Case 580L, Cat D4C, Ford 851 tractor, JD 3032 tractor, Husky 346, 372 and 562XP's. Stihl MS180 and MS361, 1998 and 2006 3/4 Ton and 2005 1 ton Dodge 5.9 Cummins 4x4's, 1989 Dodge D100 w/ 318, and a 1966 Chevy C60 w/ dump bed.